“STORM or no storm, Tacloban City is ready and eager to meet Pope Francis.”
Thus declared Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Romualdez as tropical depression “Amang” threatens to bring heavy rain that could dampen the scheduled Papal visit to this typhoon-ravaged city on Saturday.
Romualdez said the people’s faith in God and the prayers of the faithful will shield Tacloban from “Amang,” which is threatening to disrupt the historic papal visit.
“Rain or shine, with or without the typhoon, we will be there for Pope Francis. Nothing can stop us,” Romualdez said.
Romualdez, together with his cousin and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla, and Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Dominico Petilla will be among the officials on hand to welcome Pope Francis at the Daniel Romualdez Airport.
Tacloban City was among the areas heavily hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda that hammered the Visayas in November 2013. It left at least 7,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands of people homeless.
Total damage, estimated at P25 billion, was so enormous that there are still families living in bunkhouses in Tacloban and nearby areas.
Pope Francis will celebrate a mass at the Daniel Romualdez Airport upon arrival on Saturday before joining a number of Typhoon Yolanda survivors for lunch.
The Holy Father will proceed to Palo, Leyte to bless the Pope Francis Center for the Poor and to visit the Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration (Palo Cathedral) where he will meet with priests, seminarians, religious groups and other Yolanda survivors.
“More than ever, we need the prayers and blessings of Pope Francis. We still have a long way to go before we can fully recover from the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda,” Romualdez added.
He reminded his constituents to be ready not only for the Pope’s arrival, but also for the rain.
“I urge them to prepare their raincoats, jackets or anything else that can protect them from the rain,” Romualdez said.